Turkey: Juncture Point of Global Transportation

Turkey, which already has access to 1.5 billion people, and to a market of 26.3 trillion dollars, is strengthening its role of being a junction point in global transportation with critical investments in expanding its railway, airway, highway and maritime network. According to the data from the Ministry of Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications, while Turkey is developing its international railway network on one hand, it is also strengthening its indispensable position for the global transportation corridors. Connecting Asia to Europe with railways via Marmaray Turkey has reached an important position in the airway sector as well. Having achieved the fastest growth in Europe as for domestic flights, Turkey is raising the number of its international flight points to 236 in 2014, with a 294% increase compared to 2003, when the number of the international flight points was limited to 60 only.

Being located on a position which serves as a junction point of many critically important basins on the global scale, Turkey is increasing the variety of its modern transportation facilities which will be able to serve 1.5 billion people via its investments in transportation.
According to the data from the Ministry of Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications, Turkey, which attributes a special importance to investments in railways, is producing policies on improving the international railway transportation corridors. Turkey, which aims at increasing its share in the 75 billion dollar annual transportation volume between Asia and Europe, has international railway corridor projects in 6 different routes. The projects are as follows:

- Istanbul-Kars-Tbilisi-Baku
- Kurtalan-Nusaybin-Iraq,
- Kars- Nakhchivan -Iran,
- Kavkaz-Samsun-Basra,
- Istanbul-Aleppo-Mecca, and
- Istanbul-Aleppo-North Africa.

The Silk Route is being revived
Most of Turkey’s projects in the railway sector have critical importance both on the national, and on the international scale. The most important example of this is the Marmaray project, which was inaugurated on October, 29th 2013 with a high level international participation. Marmaray, , which Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan describes as a 150-year dream which can make Istanbul the center of the world, provides continuous railway transportation from under the sea between Asia and Europe. Marmaray aims at not only relieving the traffic burden of Istanbul, but also to revive the Silk Route. Another project which aims to revive the historical Silk Route is the Istanbul-Kars-Tbilisi-Baku Railway Project. Thanks to this project, the continuous railway transportation between Turkey, and Azerbaijan, Georgia, and the Turkic republics in the Central Asia will be provided. When the line is put into operation, it will have the capacity to carry 1 million people, and 5.6 million tons of loads. It is the expectation that the project will have reached a capacity of 3 million people, and 17 million tons of loads by the end of 2034.

A 294% increase in the international flight points
Turkey’s growth in the field of both domestic and international flights also continues. In 2003, the only 2 airway companies which could fly abroad were Turkish Airlines and SunExpress, and there were only 60 international flight points. This number, though, saw an increase of 294% by 2014, and reaching to 236. Also, the number of the airway companies which can fly abroad has risen to 5. These companies are Turkish Airlines, SunExpress, Pegasus, Atlas Jet, and Onur Air.

Turkey’s Share in Air Travels in Europe and in world

Years Number of Passengers from Turkey Global Share (%) Share in Europe (%)
2003 34.443.655 0,8% 3,2%
2012 131.029.516 2,2% 7,8%


26 new airports
The airports built all around the country have contributed to this progress greatly. With the 26 airports opened within the past 10 years, the number of the airports in Turkey has been doubled, and rose to 52. When the 3rd airport to Istanbul has been built, Istanbul will be the most critical transit point of Europe. On the other hand, the Ordu-Giresun Airport will be the first airport built on the sea once it is completed.

Turkish companies are carrying out transportation projects in 36 countries
In addition, again according to the data from the Ministry of Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications are currently carrying out transportation projects in 36 countries in the world. Among the countries in which Turkey is carrying out transportation projects are Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Russia, Germany, Algeria, TRNC, Serbia, Albania, Ethiopia, Lithuania, Saudi Arabia, Austria, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Hungary, Turkmenistan, Belarus, India, Macedonia, Uganda, Belgium, Iraq, Egypt, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Pakistan, Oman, Bosnia Herzegovina, Kazakhstan, Poland, and Jordan.

Sources: http://www.kdk.gov.tr/

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